Commentaries by Vasilis Trigkas
- Dec 14 , 2016Strategic surprise and a cultivated image of irrationality is a classical strategy in a game of brinkmanship. One side highlights its willingness to “dance too close” to the cliff’s edge and maximize risk, leading its opposition into eventual retreat. Trumps’ discussion with Tsai Ing-wen must be seen through the prism or feigned irrationality. Trump, a studious businessman, may have considered the strategies of past presidents and found the “Madman” hypothesis compelling for his ultimate goal: to leverage Chinese adamancy over core national interests like the Taiwan issue into an agreement over trade and jobs – his existential political pledge.
- China’s stock market turmoil has caused pundits to conclude that China’s economy won’t face a soft landing. Yet the macroeconomic fundamentals of the Chinese economy continue to be auspicious.
- President Barack Obama’s last State of the Union speech sought to cement his personal achievements by stressing his contribution to the recovery of the United States post-2008, and the U.S. position of excellence compared to China.
- Oct 22 , 2015Based on what we know from leaks, Transatlantic and Pacific trade deals disproportionally empower corporations. Instead of trade regionalism driven by corporatism and overrated security imperatives, the EU, the USA and China, should join forces and with a trilateral trade commission shape a vast economic space from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean.
- The Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. carries deep symbolism, both in the U.S. political heritage, and classical Greek aesthetics. Vasilis Trigkas proposes that this monument be a site for President Xi and Obama to deliver an alternative narrative for China-U.S. relations.
- Apr 30 , 2015The term “Chimerica,” is liberal theorizing that assumes the more economically interdependent the U.S. and China become, the more peaceful the hegemonic transition of power will be. Realists theorize that there is ongoing comprehensive balancing, from trade to militarization, and free trade alone will not solve deep ideological and system differences. Improved relations require increased participation and less inequality on both sides of the Pacific.
- Mar 20 , 2015The question of Thucydides trap has become a classic in Sino-US relations to explain the rising military securitization. For the past five years China has attempted to develop state-of-the-art A2AD capabilities to secure its periphery, and the U.S. has called for a maritime version of NATO to ensure U.S. conventional offensive advantage over China. Trigkas argues the relevance of Thucydides today in teaching that we must utilize the creative forces of humans towards the Epicurian or the Confucian Good life and not towards supremacy.
- Feb 12 , 2015A Greek exit from the EU would lead to increased instability in Europe. Yet, it may present opportunity for China, the U.S. EU, and IMF to engage together in a summit to safeguard the stability of the Eurozone and shape a global norm on tax evasion and tax heavens that have adversely affected insolvent states like Greece.
- The recent landslide victory of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has obvious implications for China-U.S. relations, and for a cross-strait standoff between the countries two militaries. Washington should preempt any possible cross-strait military build-up and engage in a sincere dialogue about the democratic future of Taiwan in a “one country, two systems” solution.